Rhode Island Spousal Support Lawyer
Protecting Your Financial Interests
Spousal support, also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, is awarded in many divorces, particularly if the marriage is longer term. Spousal support requires one spouse to provide financial support to the other following divorce. The ultimate goal is to provide the receiving spouse with enough financial support to maintain the lifestyle established during marriage.
At TJC • ESQ, we are very accessible to our clients throughout all of Rhode Island. No matter where you live, we will be able to meet with you and discuss the intricacies of your case. We are dedicated to delivering excellence in legal representation and client care.
Will I Receive or Pay Alimony?
Alimony can be awarded on temporary or permanent basis. Generally, the courts will assess whether one spouse is in need of financial support to be financially independent and whether or not the paying spouse has the financial capacity to provide these payments. The court will consider a wide range of factors to determine if spousal support is appropriate in your divorce.
Factors that affect whether alimony is awarded:
- The length of a marriage – Marriages of short duration are far less likely to involve alimony in the divorce orders.
- A large wage gap – A wide disparity of income may indicate a need for spousal support.
- Earning capacity – The earning capacities of both parties will be considered in any spousal support award. Does one spouse have a physical disability or other limiting condition?
- Property division in divorce – Was the property division (including revenue streams from a business, for example) sufficient for the support of a spouse?
- Actions during the marriage – The conduct of the parties during the marriage may be considered in determining whether there should be spousal support. Electronic discovery may be useful in discovering hidden assets or marital infidelity.
Our firm can help you determine what, if any, factors may warrant alimony in your divorce. If circumstances change after the divorce, a post-decree modification may be appropriate. Our firm’s lawyers can assess whether the spousal support issues can be reconsidered, and can represent you in post-divorce litigation.
When is Permanent Alimony Awarded?
In certain situations, a judge may issue a permanent alimony arrangement that will only terminate if the receiving spouse passes away or remarries. Permanent alimony is mostly reserved for instances where a couple’s marriage was exceptionally long or if significant financial inequality between spouses is present. If it is determined that the receiving spouse will never be able to acquire the necessary skills or training to become self-sufficient, a permanent plan may be put in place. Disability can also warrant indefinite financial support.
What if I Can’t Afford My Alimony Payments?
If you are unable to afford your alimony payments, you may be able to request a modification to your spousal support arrangement. To begin these proceedings, either spouse must file a motion with the county court’s clerk’s office and request that the courts review your alimony order. In order to have your court order changed, you must be able to show a substantial change in circumstances from the time your arrangement was first issued.
The following can all be satisfactory reasons for a modification:
- Loss of employment
- Substantial changes in income
- Medical expenses from a sudden illness or injury
In some instances where the receiving spouse has experienced an increase in income and no longer needs to receive alimony payments to be financially stable, the courts can terminate alimony payments altogether. It is imperative to note, however, that verbal agreements between you and your spouse to alter your payments will not be honored by the courts and must be signed by a judge to be official. If you are in need of a modification, an attorney from our firm can advocate on your behalf and maximize your chances of securing the results you need.
Serving Clients Throughout Rhode Island
We will analyze your situation and discuss how the statutory guidelines for spousal support will affect you. We can also work with an alimony calculator to give you an idea of what to expect in your case.
Contact us online to determine how spousal support might be considered in your divorce.
TJC • ESQ is now a part of Burns & Levinson, one of the largest and most respected family law firms in the nation. Learn more.